Where to Go Wild Swimming in Snowdonia
Lake Bala, Llyn Tegid in Welsh, is a popular spot for watersports and wild swimming | © Rob Carter / Alamy Stock Photo
Snowdonia National Park, in North Wales, is a magnet for wild-swimming enthusiasts, and for good reason. The lakes offer a tranquil, safe haven for swimmers, and a superb mountainous backdrop. So, if you’re a wild swimmer seeking some Welsh solace, here’s our guide to the best spots in Snowdonia.
Blue Lagoon, Golwen Quarry, Moel-y-Faen
Enter a tunnel and emerge in a deep green pool. With high rocks surrounding you, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d entered a magical land. Dive from rocks into a wild oasis.
Llyn Dinas Caernarfon
© John Worrall / Alamy Stock Photo
Near Beddgelert in North Wales, this shallow lakes covers 60 acres (24.5ha) and is perfect for a wild swimming excursion. Formed by the River Glaslyn, it takes its name from the nearby mountain Dinas Emrys.
Llyn Cau, Cadair Idris
© Paul Heaton / Alamy Stock Photo
On the southern edge of Snowdonia National Park, nestled in the formidable mountain Cadair Idris, Llyn Cau is a dark blue crater lake. A 20-minute walk from the nearest carpark, this isolated pool makes for an excellent wild swimming spot.
Llyn Gwynant, Caernarfon
© Brian Jannsen / Alamy Stock Photo
Simply breathtaking, with easy access and nearby parking, Llyn Gwynant is one of the great lakes of North Wales – swim across to Elephant Rock and jump in the cool waters. Lying on the River Glasyn, this 124-acre (50ha) lake is just 2mi (3km) from Mount Snowdon. It was also used as a location in one of the Lara Croft films, so it has excellent pedigree.
Watkins Path Waterfall, Snowdon
© David Barley / Alamy Stock Photo
Located a little off the Snowdon Watkins Path, this series of pools is a rather well-kept secret. Perfect for wild swimming, this is the ideal place to while away a summer’s day. The Watkins Path is the toughest route of six to the summit, and was named after local politician Sir Edward Watkins and officially opened by then prime minister William Gladstone in 1892.
Bala Lake, Bala
© David Pimborough / Alamy Stock Photo
Possibly the most famous lake in North Wales, in Welsh it’s called Llyn Tegid (Fair Lake). Fed by the River Dee, and originally much bigger, much of the water was diverted from the lake when British engineer Thomas Telford constructed the Ellesmere Canal over the border in neighbouring England. The lower water level resulted in this pretty lake which is 4mi (6km) long by 0.5mi (0.8km) wide.
These recommendations were updated on September 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Hannah Freeman